Monday, June 2, 2014

naghihintay kami! ayyyyyyyy

(we wait! ayyyyyyyy)
Hello po pamilya ko!

Kumusta po kayo? Family.... I miss you and love you and I just want you to know that you are always in my prayers.

It has been another great week in Rosario.  My ankle is fine and I have fallen in love with this area.  It feels like home and maybe that is a sign that I will be transferred.  Who knows.  We are on the edge of our seats waiting to find out who will be transferred and what's going to happen.  We find out tomorrow.  It is super rare for four missionaries to all stay in the same area for 4 1/2 months so we know that there will be a change this week.  I am so grateful that Sister Hingano was my trainer.  I have learned so much from her humble and faithful example.  She really helped me to not stress myself out and just ease into missionary work.  She will be one of my favorite companions and we're both worried about our next companionship because we have had such a beautiful companionship for the last 3 transfers.  I have really been able to just focus on my purpose and try and feel the spirit because we haven't had any contention.  Maybe it is the warm before the storm?  Haha just kidding I have just decided that instead of worrying how my next companion will be for ME... like if she will be difficult and hard to communicate with... and instead just focus on how I can be a good companion to HER.  Do everything I can to love her and serve and be a blessing.  So it has given me peace as we go into this change.  We'll see:)

Right now it is Mango season and there are so many and they are so cheap that people are just giving them to you for free all the time.  I could live off mangos.  Haha napakasarap!!!  Haha but the other day we were just sitting outside one of the member’s houses eating fresh mangos and it made me grateful that I am here.  And I had another moment like that when we took this shortcut to a new investigator.  We walked straight through rice fields which are probably my favorite things ever and we were walking with this member and I was chasing their little girl and playing with her and I just had this feeling like I wanted to stay there forever.  It was just so beautiful and I am just so grateful to be here, so I know I just need to enjoy it while I am here.  
A HUGE smashed spider in a napkin.  It was the biggest spider that I have seen so far in my mission.

So on Tuesday Elder Christensen (one of the 7 presidents of the 70... a great honor) came and spoke to us.  It was so incredible.  Before we started he wanted to shake every single one of our hands.  I was super surprised because it would take forever, but then I just remembered how when Christ came and ministered to the Nephites, we repeatedly see the phrase "one by one."  Christ always healed and ministered to them one by one.  He never just saw the multitude as a big group of people, but more as a group of individual sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.  And He knows and loves each of us individually.  Anyway, even though it took a while I was also impressed that he would do that.  And even though it felt like a wedding line haha we went and shook the hands and talked to him, and his wife, our president and his wife, and the area presidency couple.  Then, Sister Hingano, Sister Buckley, Sister Ott, and I sang an arrangement of "Be Still My Soul."  It was so awesome.  We were nervous before because we all just kind of thought we sounded like amateurs but we practiced lots and right before the conference we just decided that we would try and focus more on the lyrics and sing with conviction.  I felt the spirit super strong as were singing and Sister Hingano stopped for a second because she was going to cry.  I am not really sure how it sounded but I think it went well and I hope that we brought the spirit.

He then focused on prayer.  He explained how he has witnessed how much Thomas S. Monson wrestles in prayer in order to receive revelation.  He said that if every member could witness it, they would be willing to work a lot harder to receive personal revelation.  He talked about how we should pray (show our humility and desire by actually kneeling).  Take a minute to be reverent and invite the spirit before you begin, and really have a sincere, faithful conversation with your Father in Heaven.  He then talked about how we can connect ideas in our mind with a feeling in our heart, and as impressions come and we recognize and follow them, we can get better and better at following the spirit.  Anyway, it was just a really good meeting and they talked about lots of other stuff but I just can't include it all in here.

This week has been really good.  As we have been evaluating the area, we have realized how much we need to help the bishop and his auxiliaries.  They have fallen into this groove where the bishop hasn't been delegating like he should, and no one really knows they're responsibilities as leaders in the ward.  They all just don't really know how to fulfill their callings and the bishop is trying to take on too much and so he just feels overwhelmed and is wearing away.  So we studied the red handbook and met with the bishop.  We informed him of our observations and then on Sunday we met with the ward council.  It went super well.  This is a new ward (as of two months) and so we are just trying to help them really get a good start and work together because it has the potential to become a very strong ward.  They seemed so grateful for our suggestions and they all agreed that there were some major problems with the way they were functioning.  Anyway, we're meeting with the Bishop again tonight to help him realize that his calling is to delegate and help him be able to do that properly.  I guess that this is part of your calling as a missionary as well.  Of course you are always finding and teaching investigators, but it is hard to really convert people if the ward itself isn't strong.  So we are excited about it and trying to do as much as we can to help them before some of us leave.

A baptism with an investigator Sister Ott has been teaching.
Yesterday, at church we had some cool experiences.  In Sunday School we talked about the Gift of the Holy Ghost and the spirit was so strong.  Then at the end, Sister Ott called on Sister Estellita to give the prayer.  Let me preface this story a little bit.  Sister Estellita has really been progressing, reading, and is going to be baptized soon.  She just has a little bit of pride.  One of the things that we didn't really know how to address is the fact that she won't humble herself to fold her arms, bow her head, and close her eyes when she prays.  She always just sits there and stares foreward, even if everyone around her is closing their eyes.  So we didn't yet know how to address it with her and we had talked about it a little bit with Sister Ott.  Well when Sister Ott called on her to pray, she said (very boldy), "ok now bow your head, close your eyes, and fold you arms."  Haha so Estellita did and she opened her prayer and then stopped (for probably 45 seconds).  Everyone was a little bit confused and I peaked and looked at her and she was starting to cry, fighting back her tears.  She then gave one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard.  I think that part of the reason she felt the spirit so strong was that she finally humbled herself before God and even though those are small signs of respect, I think it was a big deal for her.  After words she told Ronnie Hellen and their son that she wants to get baptized sabay sabay with them, which means simultaneously.  I will be sad if I leave and don't get to see them baptized, but I guess that there are always other people waiting in the area in which you are transferred.

Anyway, I love you all so much.  Thank you for your support and your examples to me.

Eat some mexican food for me.

Sister Rasmussen:)

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